MA Cultural Materials

Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We inspire students to explore and excel through imaginative teaching and the world-leading research we conduct across the globe.

This course provides a very specific study of the material artefacts – glass, ceramic, and metal – found in the archaeological record. The modules are varied and cover theory, ethnographic case studies and experimental approaches to cultural material. There are lectures, seminars and practical work. The course has three tracks, which means you can carry out a wide range of research and projects.

Katherine Jensen, MA Cultural Materials

About the course

September 2018 start

Course description

Our MA in Cultural Materials consolidates Sheffield’s two decades of successful postgraduate provision in Archaeological Materials, Materials Culture Studies and Experimental Archaeology.

The course builds on existing opportunities in technological studies, materials analysis, material culture theory, and experimental archaeology, integrating them with added emphasis on the development of both academic and professional research frameworks.

While maintaining a commitment to the demanding technical aspects of materials analysis, this MA foregrounds the need to embed scientific materials-based research within a theoretically aware humanities-based perspective.

This programme has three streams: Material Culture Studies, Experimental Archaeology and Materials and Technological Analysis.

Core modules

Student with microscopeAll streams:

  • Reinventing Archaeology
  • Materialising Culture: Agents, Things and Social Processes
  • Dissertation (Material Culture Studies stream choose between a fieldwork placement and a dissertation)

Examples of optional modules

Depending on which of the three streams you choose to study, these may include:

  • Analysis of Inorganic Materials
  • Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: Ceramics, Metals or Vitreous Materials
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component.

Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Part-time study

This course can be taken full-time or part-time.

If you study part-time, you'll take two 15-credit modules in each semester during Year 1 and Year 2, and either a dissertation or placement module over the summer of Year 2. We arrange for you to attend two days a week but we try to be as flexible as possible.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in an arts, humanities or science subject is usually required. Your interest in and knowledge of archaeological matters are more important than the specific discipline of your undergraduate degree.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

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Fees and funding

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 2900

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.